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AirBaltic
IATA
BT
ICAO
BTI
Callsign
AIRBALTIC
Founded 1995
Hubs
Focus cities Vilnius, Tallinn
Frequent flyer program Baltic Miles
Fleet size 31 (+8 orders)
Destinations 72
Parent company Government of Latvia
Headquarters Riga, Latvia
Key people Bertolt Flick (CEO)
Website http://www.airbaltic.com
Riga International Airport, the location of AirBaltic's head office and main hub

A/S Air Baltic Corporation, operating as AirBaltic (styled as airBaltic), is the Latvian flag carrier airline, operating after the low-cost carrier model, with its head office on the grounds of Riga International Airport in the capital, Riga.[1] Its main hub is at Riga International Airport with a secondary hub at Vilnius International Airport.

Contents

History

The airline was established on 28 August 1995 with the signing of a joint venture between Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and the Latvian state. Operations started on 1 October 1995 with the arrival of the first Air Baltic aircraft, a Saab 340, at Riga, and that afternoon, the plane made the first passenger flight for Air Baltic.[2]

In 1996, the airline's first Avro RJ70 was delivered; and Air Baltic joined the SAS frequent flier club as a partner. 1997 saw the opening of a cargo department and, in 1998, the airline's first Fokker 50 plane was delivered. The adopted livery was mainly white, with the name of the airline written in blue on the forward fuselage, the 'B' logo being heavily stylized in blue checks. The checker blue pattern was repeated on the aircraft tailfin.

In 1999, Air Baltic became a joint stock company, and all of their Saab 340s were replaced by Fokker 50s. By September, the airline had begun operating under the European Aviation Operating Standards, or JAR ops. Air Baltic welcomed the new millennium by introducing new uniforms and opening a cargo center at Riga's airport.

The first Boeing 737-500 joined the fleet in 2003, and on 1 June 2004, Air Baltic launched services from the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, initially to five destinations. In October 2004, Air Baltic was rebranded as AirBaltic. Their present livery consists of an all-white fuselage and lime tailfin. AirBaltic.com is displayed on the forward upper fuselage, and the word "Baltic" is repeated in white on the lower part of the tailfin.

In December 2006, the first Boeing 737-300 joined the fleet and was configured with winglets. In July 2007, AirBaltic introduced an online check-in system.[3] It was the first online check-in system in the Baltic states. In Spring 2008, two long-haul Boeing 757 joined the existing AirBaltic fleet. On 10 March 2008, it was announced that in the next three years the airline would acquire new aircraft, experiencing the largest fleet expansion in the company's history. The new additions will be next generation Q400 aircraft.

AirBaltic previously had strong links with SAS, which owned 47.2% of the airline (the Latvian state holds the remainder) until January 2009, when they sold all their shares to AirBaltic management. It operates frequent flights to SAS hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm. The airline formerly used the SAS EuroBonus frequent flyer programme, but now has its own: BalticMiles. Some products and services are still shared with SAS, including co-ordinated timetabling and shared airport lounges.

AirBaltic is not a member of any airline alliance. At the moment, however, codeshare agreements are in place with several Star Alliance airlines and others.

As of September 2007, AirBaltic employs 948 people.[4]

According to Estonian media, in August 2009, AirBaltic was officially considered insolvent[5], and its future is said to be under question.[6] Though the same media sources say that company is going to be profitable this year.[citation needed]

AirBaltic ended 2009 year with 14000000 lats profit (about 20 millions EUR) and had 6% increase of passenger number in comparison to the 2008 year and totally carried 2.76 millions passenger bringing to Riga airport first 4 million passenger per year in the history of the airport.

Operational Statistics

In 2007, AirBaltic served 2,007,150 passengers, an increase of 27% compared to 2006. In 2007 AirBaltic increased number of its flights to 36,804 (27% increase over 2006) and its average cabin factor was 63% (3% increase over 2006). Turnover for 2007 reached 159.43 million lats (226,85 million EUR), up 38% compared to 2006. However, its net profit decreased by 69% and was 1.24 million lats (1.76 million EUR). The decrease is attributable to the overall expansion of the airline and its services. Turnover for 2006 reached 115.9 million lats (164.9 million euro), an increase of 37% compared to 2005. At FYE 2006, operational result (EBITDAR) reached 16.9 million lats (24.0 million EUR), a 65% increase from 2005(9.7 MLVL/13.8 MEUR). The airline's net profit for 2006 was 4.305 million lats (6.125 million euro) vs. -1.14 million lats (-1,62 million euro) a year before. As of 9/2007 AirBaltic earned 5.1 million lats in pre-tax profit (7.2 million EUR) of 41% compared to 2006.

Destinations

AirBaltic destinations.      Latvia      AirBaltic destinations

AirBaltic operates 61 direct flights from Riga and 7 from Vilnius, as well as non-stop flights on the routes Kaliningrad - Copenhagen, Linköping - Bergen, Linköping - Stavanger, Kuopio - Tampere, Oulu - Turku (scheduled for the autumn 2009), Tallinn - Turku (scheduled for the autumn 2009).

Codeshare agreements

AirBaltic has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:

Inflight magazine

AirBaltic's inflight magazine, Baltic Outlook, is published six times per year by SIA Rīgas laiks, and can be found in the seatback pockets of every seat. Passengers can take the magazine with them when they disembark their flights. There are only English articles in the magazine. The first edition of Baltic Outlook magazine was published in 2003. There is also a selection of domestic and international newspapers on all flights, except for flights within the Baltics.

Inflight service

On some flights, AirBaltic offers a buy on board menu offering food and drinks for purchase.[7]

Fleet

Current

Boeing 737-300
Boeing 737-500
Boeing 757-200
Fokker F-50

The AirBaltic fleet includes the following aircraft (at February 2009):

AirBaltic Fleet
Aircraft In
Service
Orders Options Passengers Notes
Boeing 737-300 8 0 0 149
Boeing 737-500 10 0 0 120-126
Boeing 757-200ER 2 2 0 200 Entry into service: Spring 2010
Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 1 7 4 68-78 Entry into service: Uncertainty about entry
Fokker 50 11 0 0 46-52 1 leased from Air Iceland
2 leased from Skyways Express


In October 2008, AirBaltic leased a Fokker 50 from Air Iceland.[8]

Retired fleet

AirBaltic Retired Fleet
Aircraft Total Operated Notes
Saab 340 2 1995-1999
Avro RJ70 3 1996-2005
Boeing 737-500 1 2003-2007
Fokker 50 1 2005-2006

References

External links









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